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    Information for Parents



    - the cost of study abroad varies by program.  In some cases, it actually costs less to study abroad for a semester than it would to live in and take a full course load in Norman. In other cases, the cost of living abroad may be more expensive than staying on campus. To determine the potential costs with your son or daughter, please review the Budget Estimate on the program summary page of their chosen program(s).

    Scholarships - There are many scholarships available for study abroad. Please review our Money Matters page with your student for more details on scholarships and financial aid.

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    Safety & Security

    The Office of Education Abroad and the University of Oklahoma take the health, safety and well-being of all students very seriously. 

    The Basics

    OU evaluates the safety and risk associated with all destinations open to study abroad.  By using institutional best practices, industry norms and a variety of resources including the US Department of State, NAFSA, and the OU Safety and Security Council, decisions are made as whether a program destination is open.  If the University of Oklahoma does not feel a destination is safe, undergraduate study abroad programming is suspended.

    We do our best to prepare your students for the reality of the new environment. While no one can guarantee safety 100% of the time anywhere, including Norman, we do our best to prepare your students for what they might encounter.

    Most problems overseas are connected to poor choices made by students while abroad, many of which involve the inappropriate use of alcohol.  We discuss and discourage risky behaviors in the mandatory pre-departure orientation.  Students who act against our advice and indulge in risky behaviors could have serious problems. Parents should know that OU students on official OU study abroad programs are considered fully OU students under the OU Student Code.  Should a student break a clause of the OU Student Code, many of the same disciplinary actions that could happen to them on the Norman campus could also happen to them overseas, including fines, fees, censures or even expulsion should the circumstances be that serious. 

    We address expected behavior frankly and in an open forum.  Conversations encouraging good judgment, with particular attention to alcohol consumption, are  ways in which parents can be most helpful before their student studies abroad.

    Helpful Links



    OU Education Abroad recommends to prepare and always carry an emergency information card.


    What are the steps to the Study Abroad Process?
    Visit this page to learn about the 5 Phases of the Study Abroad Process!

    Should I accompany my student abroad?
    The simple answer to this question is "no." This is a time for your student to step out and handle the new situation from the beginning. It can be humiliating to appear with a parent in tow, especially in areas where students are expected to be rather independent from an earlier age. As difficult as it may be, trust your student to be equal to the challenges of the arrival period.

    Should I visit during the program?
    Absolutely!  We recommend that you visit toward the end of the program so that your visit does not interfere with any language acquisition, the transition to a new culture or the independence and self-reliance necessary on study abroad.

    Should I worry if I don’t hear from my student every day/week?
    Sometimes calling home frequently from study abroad is a more dangerous sign than not hearing anything. Frequent calls can mean that your student is still relying on you to solve problems that he or she should be working out alone or with the help of the people at the site. There is usually nothing you can do from a great distance. Emails seem to work better and are less “emotional” ways of maintaining contact.

    Is there an orientation session before departure?
    Yes, all students will have portions of their orientation online and the majority will be required to attend no less than one in-person orientation.

    Does OU arrange group flights for students going to the same destination?
    It will vary by program, please ask your student.

    Do you help students get passports?
    We advise students without passports about how to get one and we ask students who already have them to check the expiration dates. We now require all applicants to have applied for or to have a passport before applying for any program. We refer students to the US Department of State website for instructions and forms, but we do not keep such forms in our office.

    It is a good idea for you as a parent to have a passport as well, whether you plan to visit your student or not.

    What is a visa and why does my student need one?
    A visa is a document from a foreign government that allows a non-citizen to enter a country for a specific purpose. Many of our destinations require student visas to be stamped on a blank passport page before the student may attend a university in that country. We advise students about the visa application process and we keep ourselves informed about changes from semester to semester, but we do not send the visa applications from our office (except in rare circumstances). We expect the students themselves to complete the relevant forms and apply on time. Some student visa applications require the applicant to appear in person at a Consulate or Embassy to submit the application or pick it up. Summer programs rarely require a visa.

    What about insurance?
    Please see the Insurance portion of our website for more on the mandatory OU study abroad insurance.